I’ve just completed the 100 Happy Days challenge. Now, when I say completed, I think I missed one day due to forgetfulness but I had doubled up a couple of times throughout the challenge, so I forgave myself and carried on.
It was a fun challenge, a snap each day of something that had made me happy with only a couple of moments of mild panic when I realised “Pants! I haven’t taken a photo today!”.
Plus it served as a way to store memories from the last 100 days and some of the silly things that made me smile.
Part way through I was surprised to learn that the challenge has been met with mixed views. Maybe I’m a sucker for these kinds of things, I mean, I do love to take a photo or two… but for me, it was a no brainer. For others, it’s a ridiculous waste of time and seemingly ineffective…
“What’s with this 100 days of happiness shit all over social media? Nobody is happy for 100 days. That’s fucking insane. Really, it’s not normal and not healthy.“
“I scoured the feed for a serious source of happiness but all I could find was somebody being excited about a yoga class, and someone curling up with their baby.”
Now one of those may well be from someone who loves being controversial to get a reaction so I did reconsider quoting him but in actual fact, it was his social media rant that made me check and see what others thought of the challenge. I stumbled across blogs and articles which ranged from explaining the “scientific” reasons the project works and makes you happier to the somewhat disheartening ramblings of some rather critical individuals.
I get that being happy for every minute of everyday for 100 days in a row is quite possibly impossible (although I remain hopeful 😉 ). However, that’s not the aim of the challenge. The challenge is to find something that day that made you happy and share it. Simple.
Just as the challengers planned, it makes you think a little about your day and take time to be happy about something. Sadly, in our busy, hectic lives this is something that so many of us forget to do.
Throughout the challenge I found myself appreciating the obvious things, like my first night in my new home or a trip to Paris but I also found myself taking pleasure in simpler, “smaller” things, like a cuppa just at the right moment or learning my favourite new Czech word “jablko”.
However, and for me rather worryingly, some folk seem to find time not only to be sceptical of a harmless and optional activity, they found time to be oddly critical of what makes others happy. Things that made other people smile each day. Apparently in some people’s eyes, being happy about the simple, everyday things means you’re shallow and have somehow lowered the bar for happiness.
They seemed to have missed the point.
The way I see it, the challenge just makes you take time to take stock of what you have. Such a simple thing yet for so many of us, we’ve probably spent more time talking about things that went wrong today or things that might go wrong tomorrow that we’ve forgotten about all the lovely things that did happen. I include myself in this. It’s so easy to get bogged down that we often don’t even see the happy moments in our days. Or we take them for granted.
For the majority of us, there’s always something good about every single day. We sometimes just need a reminder to see it. I think the challenge does that and helps you focus your thoughts on the positive. Some articles claim this is a long-term effect of taking part.
Who knows how long it lasts. I finished my challenge a couple of weeks ago and I still notice moments that make me think “That would be a great 100 Happy Days pic”. I don’t take the photo, I just smile and take a second or two to reflect on what’s happening.
Here are some more of my moments from my challenge days…
My 100 days were filled with lots of laughter, silliness, simple things and plenty of happiness and thanks to the simple concept of the 100HappyDays project, I’ve now got a photo diary to look back on.
Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it. x